With the aim to determine the binding affinity of a new generation of recombinant antithrombin (AT) toward heparin, we developed a dynamic equilibrium-affinity capillary electrophoresis (DE-ACE) method. This method allows the determination of an AT-heparin binding constant (Kd) directly from the cell culture supernatant used to produce the AT variants. Eight measurements per AT variant are sufficient to determine an accurate Kd (uncertainty ≤ 22%, regression coefficient ≥ 0.97), which is not significantly different from the value obtained from a higher number of measurements. Due to the relatively short time required to determine the Kd of one AT variant (2h), this method has the potential for being a low throughput screening method. The method was validated by analyzing five AT variants, whose Kd have been reported in the literature using fluorescence spectroscopy. Finally, the method was applied to estimate the Kd of one new AT variant and one AT conformer, a latent form, that exhibits a significant loss of affinity.
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